Re: FW: OT - The Story of Histonet

From:Marvin Hanna <>

Karen Larison from Oregon writes:

>The histonet serve is a wonderful service, and we get it for free.  I

>don't know who pays for it, maybe an NIH grant?

Hi Karen,

Prehaps some background information on Histonet would be useful.

Back in January, 1996, Linda Margraf, M.D. and Herb Hagler, Ph.D. from
the University of Texas - Southwest Medical Center looked around the
Internet and found a number of listservers for pathologists, like the
patho-l list from Emory University, but none for histology. While the
pathology listservers were funded with big unix servers, $100,000
software packages and full time network administrators, Histonet had
it's humble beginnings on a 6100/60 Mac. About a year ago, Herb
upgraded the server to a 5400/180. The Histonet listserver is made
<fontfamily><param>Arial</param><bigger>available by the insight and
generosity of Dr. Margraf, Dr. Hagler and the University of Texas
Southwest Medical

With Dr. Margraf as Histonet's administrator, and Dr. Hagler as the
computer guru, Histonet has flourished over the last five years as a
resource for histology professionals worldwide. As some of you are
sending emails about duplicate messages or Histonet being down, you can
bet Dr. Hagler is already working on overcoming the system crashes and
network outages that have caused the problem. His uptime percentages on
the server, sending as many as 100,000 messages a day, is remarkable.

After a couple of years, it was apparent that a lot of valuable
histology information from the contributors to Histonet was being
deleted every day. There were also many messages asking questions that
had already been discussed. I was running a specialty search engine for
pathology at the time, Pathsearch. I determined that the software I was
running with it could also set up a searchable archive of Histonet.
After getting Dr. Margraf's approval, I set up the Histonet archives in
early 1999. 

Late in 1999, I had to take the server (Mac 8500) down for some
self-inflicted system crashes and while I had it down, someone stole
the pathsearch domain name (OK, I forgot to renew) and then notified me
it would cost $10,000 to get the domain name back. 

So, welcome to Histosearch. In early 2000, I put the server back up at
<<> as a specialty search engine for
histology with the Histonet archives located at

Dr. Margraf, Dr. Hagler or myself do  not receive monetary compensation
from Histonet, but neither do the many contributors to Histonet, who
put in many hours to share their knowledge with us. 

BTW, I have recently added a second computer for just the search
software, where I also run site search services for web sites. A few
people have told me they could access the web pages from the server,
but not the search function (which was on a non-standard port, 8080),
beacause some network administrators don't allow access to them. The
search function should work fine now for these people since it now runs
on the default port, 80.

Best Regards,

Marvin Hanna


>The histonet serve is a wonderful service, and we get it for free.  I

>don't know who pays for it, maybe an NIH grant?  And we're asking 

>those people who provide this wonderful free service to pay for 

>larger servers so that we can indulge in conversations about flowery 

>twats?  And we're asking them to pay an employee to edit out these 

>conversations from the archives?  If we continue to abuse this 

>wonderful free service in this manner, will it continue to be free? 

>And do we deserve this free service when we thoughtlessly abuse it 

>with this endless patter?


>Sorry folks.  I'm a bit appalled by attitudes of the members of this 

>list serve.  If this list serve is supported by federal grants, I'd 

>prefer that my tax money go to educate kids in the ghettos than to 

>support your need for pleasant conversations.



>Karen in Oregon





>>I used to believe myself to be a reasonably patient person but the

>>number of messages that are off topic (and I realize that I am adding

>>it with this one) is getting beyond a joke.

>>You may not have considered that some email systems have a limit to

>>number of messages that can be stored. Once it is full, any new

>>are sent back to the original source and no more messages can be

>>until the box is at least partially cleared. This can easily happen

>>we are away from the office for some days.

>>The problem is not with the original off topic message but rather

>>large number of responses. I feel that responses to questions like

>>can we call a lab" could be sent directly" to the individual who

>>the original question. They could then collate these and provide all

>>us with one or two emails concerning the responses.


>>I like the Histonet to include some off  topic items to lighten the

>>workday but the MAIN purpose of the Histonet was, I thought,  to

>>exchange histology information.


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